Bangkok | Thailand

Journal | August 2020


Bangkok | Thailand

01 Aug 2020 | Sat

What Have We Been Up to Lately?

Not a lot, I’m afraid.  We are doing well and staying healthy, but we are still choosing to stay inside most of the time.  Even though Thailand has not had any local (within Thailand) COVID-19 cases in 60+ days, we still are not taking any chances.  Over the last two months, all the daily COVID-19 cases reported in Thailand have been from repatriated Thai nationals flying back to Thailand (1-15 cases per day).

Most businesses throughout Thailand have reopened, but are suffering due to no international passengers being allowed in the country.  Businesses relying on local Thai people will probably survive, but ones that depend on foreign tourists will not be able to make it.  A lot of these businesses have already been forced to close (especially the southern Thailand beach resort areas).

What Do We Do to Pass the Time?

We have been staying in and around our condo since the end of February.  And now over 5 months later, it’s August!  Even though we are not doing much these days, time moves by pretty fast.  I (Dean) keep myself busy by working on our website.  I’ve been working on a brand-new website design in the background.  It’s not ready to go live yet, but hopefully, in the next couple of months, it will be ready.  Kanchana stays busy by reading, learning new languages like Spanish and Korean, doing yoga, and watching Korean movies.  I’m sure, like most people, we watch a lot of Netflix and Amazon Prime.

What Does Our Future Look Like?

That’s a good question.  After we retired and moved to Thailand, our plan was to hit the ground running.  We were so lucky to get on several trips before COVID-19, such as Kanchanaburi & Surat Thani, Thailand, a 13-day tour of the country Bhutan, a 5-day Tokyo Winter Light Illumination trip, an 18-day, 9-city tour of China, and a month-long family trip around Thailand.  But now with COVID-19, we’ve put all of our future travel plans on hold.

To make things easy (and playing it safe), we plan to stay another year in our current condo.  With our first-year lease approaching its end, we have researched other properties in the surrounding area and have determined that we are in the best place we can be at the moment.  Hopefully over the next 12 months, a vaccine or medical breakthrough will come along to start turning things around.  Until then, we plan to keep doing what we’re doing – patiently waiting for better times ahead.

What About the Uncertain Future of Flying and International Travel?

Yes, it’s true, with COVID-19 still spreading around the world – the future of flying and international travel does not look good at the moment.  The global financial impact caused by COVID-19 (all business sectors) also does not look good right now.  Just like with all the unknowns of the COVID-19 virus, there are also a lot of unknowns on the duration of how long this pandemic will last.  In comparison, the Spanish flu (1918 flu pandemic) lasted from February 1918–April 1920, or 27 months.  If we count the first day that “Pneumonia of Unknown Cause” was reported in Wuhan, China – Dec 31, 2019, we are now only 7 months into our current COVID-19 pandemic.

Countries around the world have had to make difficult decisions regarding reopening – walking a fine line of maintaining safety and preventing economic collapse.  Unfortunately, after 7 months of global trial and error, the virus is still spreading, and global economies are still suffering.  At this point, the only thing that can truly make a difference would be a vaccine.  The question is, how much economic damage will be done before this happens?

What Do We Do About Food?

Before COVID-19, we use to eat most of our meals in the Thai restaurant on the first floor of our condo, but now we stay in and cook our own meals.  We buy all of our grocery items from two places, Lawson’s 108 (a convenience store on 1st floor of our condo building) and online at (similar to Amazon).

We keep it simple by eating a variety of:

  • Pre-Cooked Thai Meals (Lawson’s) – authentic and tasty!
  • Pre-Cooked Jasmine & Rice Berry Rice and sometimes Mama Noodles
  • Fresh Eggs (Lawson’s)
  • Wheat Bread (Lawson’s)
  • Red Kidney & White Navy Beans (Lazada)
  • Oatmeal & Muesli
  • Peanut Butter, Nutella, and various Jellies/Jams (Lazada)
  • Various Non-Refrigerated Soy, Almond, Pistachio Milk
  • Spaghetti Pasta with various Cream/Mushroom Sauces
  • Various Canned Meats and Vegetables
  • Dried Mushrooms
  • Just to name a few…

We Grow Our Own Bean Sprouts!

Did you know that you could grow your own Mung Bean Sprouts?  It’s true, and it’s quite easy to do.  Mung bean sprouts make everything taste better (especially Thai soups, stir-fries, and spring rolls) and they are very nutritious, low in calories, have fiber, and deliver a boost of vitamins B, C, K, and iron.

There are many ways/methods to grow mung bean sprouts.  Listed below is what we do with the limited materials that we have:

  • From start to finish, they only take 4 days to grow.
  • The first step is to wash and soak green mung beans for 8-12 hours.
  • Once they start sprouting, we place the mung beans on a cheesecloth that rests on top of a perforated tray.  This way when we water the beans wrapped in cheesecloth will hold the moisture but will allow the excess water to flow through (and not get waterlogged).
  • Sprouts do not require light to grow, and it’s recommended to keep them wrapped/covered in towels to keep light out.
  • Watering the beans twice a day keeps them clean and prevents bacteria growth.
  • By the 3 or 4th day, they should be ready to harvest and ready to eat.

Counting Calories

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been countering our “mindless eating” (brought on by staying indoors all of the time) by counting our daily calorie intake.  Since we are already living in a “control-like” environment, why not take advantage by counting calories?!  So far so good, we’ve both been able to lose a few pounds.

What Are Our Latest Favorite TV Shows/Movies?

Over the last few months, we have been hooked on TV shows from Finland, Iceland, Norway, Germany, UK and Canada.  Here are some of our favorites…

  1. Trapped / Ófærð (Iceland) | Amazon Prime TV
  2. Pagan Peak (German/Austria) | Amazon Prime TV
  3. Bordertown (Finland) | Netflix
  4. Dark (German) | Netflix
  5. Deadwind (Finland) | Netflix
  6. Wisting (Norway) | Netflix
  7. Cardinal (Canada) | Amazon Prime TV
  8. Tales From the Loop (USA/Canada) | Amazon Prime TV
  9. Hanna (USA/Europe) | Amazon Prime TV
  10. Unforgotten (UK) | Amazon Prime TV

Meet Two of Our Favorite Neighbors – Dang & Khaw

Something that we’ve enjoyed doing over the last few months is watching/following two soi (street) dogs that live in a parking lot next to our condo.  We think that Dang (Red) is a female and Khaw (White) is a male, and both appear to be the standard mixed Thai breed that you find throughout Thailand.

Being on the 34th floor, we have the perfect vantage point to watch over their daily life and over time have got to know their personalities.  Khaw (White) seems to be easygoing and a protector type, with Dang (Red) being the dominant one.  Much like us, they have their daily routine where wake up in the same location every morning.  From early morning to midday, they lay in and move with the shade as the sun moves.  During the hottest part of the day, they lay under a large bush (shown in the picture above) trying to stay cool.

Usually, in the early morning hours, people who work in the upper end of the parking lot will set food and water for them.  Sometimes the same workers will bring them additional food and treats.  They seem to be fairing better than most soi dogs that are abundant throughout Bangkok and Thailand and most of the time neglected.

Something else that we admire about these two are their strong bond for each other, much like being life mates.

Sometimes When We Look Out – “It” Looks Back

Well, it’s time to mosey on  …until next month!

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